The Wander Garden is a residential oasis designed with the belief that outdoor spaces should offer more than just visual appeal. Prior to the design intervention, the site featured a mix of high-water-use lawns and a monoculture of Palm Trees, providing a static, singular experience with limited usable programmed space. This existing condition detracted from the natural beauty and breathtaking views that the historic Old Las Palmas site has to offer.
In the early stages of the design process, the client shared a childhood memory of wandering around their family property for hours, contemplating, problem-solving, and enjoying the outdoors. This narrative became the driving force behind the design concept, with the goal of creating a functional wandering garden accompanied by a variety of programmed spaces.
The design showcases a stone walking path that gracefully encompasses the residence, bordered by an array of low-water and low-maintenance plants. The planting typology shifts as one traverses the garden, creating a sequential procession while ensuring each planting zone is well-equipped to handle extreme weather and varying sun exposure conditions. In arid environments, it's common to associate "low-water" and "low-maintenance" with sparse landscaping, but with careful attention to plant selection and site conditions, a lush and immersive garden can be achieved while minimizing maintenance and water usage.
The stone paving provides a circuit around the site, connecting a variety of programmed spaces. The walking path strategically highlights and frames views of mature palm trees, sculptures, and the San Jacinto Mountains. A shaded outdoor kitchen, a stone pool patio deck, and a rejuvenated pool with built-in bar seats complete the experience, offering an ideal space for parties and gatherings when contemplation transforms into socialization.